What were the odds on that

Montenegro 2 - 2 England - Euro 2012 qualifier - Podgorica, October 7th, 2011


England to be ahead at half-time, full time draw and Wayne Rooney to be sent off. Think the bookies took many bets on that, maybe round the Liverpool area?

So Fabio’s mob stumble into the 2012 Euros on the back of a completely unconvincing draw away against the might of Montenegro in which Wayne Rooney again covered himself in glory in an England shirt. It just fills you with great confidence for Poland and the Ukraine next year.

I heard last night and read this morning about how for 44 minutes of that first half England were outstanding, with Rooney in particular running the game as the destroyed the hosts. When what we actually saw was a completely disjointed half against a side that seemed either in awe or completely disinterested as they were saving themselves for their last qualification game.

In that 44 minutes England produced two decent bits of football and scored two goals on the back of it. Three players providing their only contributions of any real decent note in them. Rooney at the start of both moves, Walcott’s cross for the opener and Bent for the tap in second. Walnutt may have had a piss weak attempt straight at the ‘keeper but bar Rooney’s later kick at the legs of Dzudovic the three of them were inept.

Welbeck coming on late in the second half showed more in the 14 minutes he was on the pitch than Bent did in little over an hour. Oh wow he’s scored in four away games. Four seconds where he’s finished off the work of others in four games and done bugger all but hide behind various opposition players. Bent shouldn’t be ahead of Wellbeck or Sturridge.

It was another tactical masterstroke by our great leader. Along with player Jones at fullback, yes Jones should have been in the side but not crowbarred in out of position – yes I know he’s played a few games there for ManUre but on his England debut how about playing him in his position. Problem being Terry and the fact he’s only in there because Fabio gave him the armband, which is a problem with English football, captain always guaranteed of his place because even when it’s obvious he’s not worthy of it.

That added to the strange make-up of the midfield come the second half substitutions which saw Lampard coming on for Bent and of the middle three now on the park with Barry, the left footer, on the right and Lampard, the right footer, on the left. That worked well. Then Downing came on. Yeah I don’t know why either but we live in a world where Downing has 30 England caps.

I can only guess at the newly installed Montenegro manager’s half time talk. He would have been happy at that last gasp goal before the break but probably was asking his side how they could be losing that that shower of…

So when they came out after the break you could see the belief that England were there for the taking and that it wouldn’t take much for them to do it. And it didn’t.

Ashley Cole repeatedly found out as not quite the greatest left-back ever in the game. Jones lucky not to give away a penalty. Cahill and Terry dithering and slack at the back and Parker being Parker in the middle. As the bloke next to me asked has he tackled anyone yet, second half this was. No, he hadn’t he was doing what they’ve all raved about him doing in his four outings for Spurs so far. Nothing to get excited about, in any way shape or form. Said bloke also wanted to know how many forward passes there was form Parker. We started counting out at that point. We didn’t need our other hand. Poor man’s Ray “the crab” Wilkins.

So yes all Parker did was run to get the ball off Terry or Cahill and then when he had plenty of space, run around in a circle, pass it sideways, back or on very few occasions forward, that was normally to an England player with a man on. Tackling, no it was the usual running alongside someone in possession, intermittently waving his arm out to try and grab the player and then give up. There was one attempt to win the ball but it was much like Wigan’s goal in the recent game against Spurs. It barely made an stab at the ball and then danced away, yards from the action, so while the Montenegro player has a shot at goal from about the middle of the D of England’s box, Parker has danced out to mark no one at left back.

He looked knackered late on in the second hOalf, as he did at the weekend against the scum. I think back to the German side flying past our midfield at the last World Cup, I don’t see a midfield of Parker and Barry changing that situation.

So to Rooney. As we say at that last World Cup it doesn’t work to pick him when there’s off field stuff going on. I mean if someone was to get themselves sent off for certain off field reasons, well the ref was going to do nothing else but show a straight red for such a kick out.

Only thing more ridiculous than Rooney’s action is the reaction of Joe Hart who stated that it was I saw it all. It was pretty pathetic. It was supposedly a kick but it was pathetic. It was the most pathetic sending-off I’ve seen in my life.. Shut up you buffoon.

So it’s another heart break at another tournament to look forward to. Well only if you’re stupid enough to expect great things from this bunch.

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